|The Giants' AT&T Park / A jewel of a baseball park along San Francisco Bay.|
So, the Giants offer a free standing room viewing area at AT&T Park. It's one-third of the view but for none of the price.
Indeed, it's a priceless experience that not only offers a unique view of the field -- close enough to smell the grass -- but also a chance to shout out a "hello" to Giants right fielder Hunter Pence.
|The knothole area provides a viewing portal through a|
chain-link fence into the Giants' ballpark.
The knothole area underneath the right field arcade is one of many retro features that arrived when AT&T Park (then known as Pac Bell Park) opened in 2000. None of the other 29 Major League ballparks across the country include such a viewing section as part of a built-in feature. From what I've learned, the idea behind the knothole area was to attract passersby to drop in from the adjoining promenade who might not otherwise be inclined to watch.
|The view from the knothole / The Giants'|
Hunter Pence at bat with Joe Panik on base.
When necessary, such as when this is a sought-out spot during the playoffs and World Series, fans are rotated in and out every three innings. On the day we visited, we could have stayed as long as we liked. The knothole area was only about one-third full.
There aren't many amenities, so if you plan to stay a while you may wish to bring along your own snacks or purchase something from the nearby Yard at McCovey Cove, which features a variety of food and beverage options.
|Madison Bumgarner / Everyone wanted to take his picture.|
At 1:05 p.m., it was "Game On." We stayed for the first inning and absorbed the view. Then, it was time to head into the breezy San Francisco afternoon in search of lunch and other adventures.
All photos by Michael Dickens © 2015.